Filing Complaints Against Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Consider filing a formal complaint with the appropriate regulatory agency if informal approaches to solving one’s problems are not successful (Refer to Fact Sheet – Exercising Your Rights & Resolving Problems in CCRCs.) The CCRC resident has clearly established rights to file complaints without provider retaliation. (Health &Safety Code §1771.7(f)(g) and 1788(a)(30)(B))
Since CCRCs provide a continuum of care, there are different agencies that regulate CCRCs. Where to file a complaint will depend, not only on the nature of the problems, but also at what level of care the problem has occurred or is occurring.
Continuing Care Contracts Branch (CCC Branch) – All Care Levels
California Department of Social Services
744 P Street, M.S. 10-90
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Continuing Care Contracts Branch, California Department of Social Services – Community Care Licensing, is the designated regulatory agency for CCRCs. The CCC Branch views its primary mission as monitoring the financial soundness of CCRCs. However, it also has statutory authority and responsibility to:
- Accept resident complaints concerning the violation of rights stated in the Resident Rights – Health & Safety Code §1771.7 (H&S 1771.7(f))
- Respond within 15 business days to residents’ rights, service-related, and financially related complaints by residents (H&S 1776.3(d)(1))
- Review the transfer process for disputed level of care transfers (H&S 1788(a)(10)(D))
Community Care Licensing– Independent Living Units & Assisted Living
Department of Social Services – Senior Care Program
http://www.ccld.ca.gov/res/pdf/ASC.pdf (Listing of District Offices)
Since both the Independent Living Units and the Assisted Living units of CCRCs are regulated as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs), the Senior Care Division of Community Care Licensing monitors CCRCs for compliance with the RCFE laws and regulations regarding buildings and grounds, accommodations, care and supervision of residents, and quality of service. (Refer to CANHR’s website on RCFEs/Assisted Living, www.canhr.org, and to the Fact Sheets on Rights of Residents in RCFEs and Filing Complaints.)
Licensing and Certification – Skilled Nursing
California Department of Public Health
http://cdph.ca.gov/certlic/Facilities/Pages/LCDistrictOffices.aspx (List of District Offices)
Skilled Nursing residents have substantial rights established by both federal and state law. Skilled Nursing is regulated by the California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification. (Refer to CANHR’s website on Nursing Homes, www.canhr.org, and to the Fact Sheets on Rights of Residents in Nursing Homes and Filing Complaints.)
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
6951 East Southpoint Road
Tucson, AZ 85756-9407
(866) 510-2273 Toll Free
FAX (520) 318-1129
Some CCRCs participate in a voluntary accreditation program. If the CCRC is accredited, send a copy of your complaints or submit a separate letter summarizing the complaint(s).
Where to Go for Help
Contact CANHR at 1-800-474-1116 (Consumers only) or 415-974-5171. Consider using one of CANHR’s Complaint Forms for either Assisted Living/Residential Care or Nursing Homes.
Contact the local Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to assist in filing a complaint to a regulatory agency. The Ombudsman is a resident advocate. Visit the website for the address and number of local offices, http://www.aging.ca.gov/Programs/LTCOP/Contacts/, or call the Crisis Line Number 1-800-231-4024 after hours or on the weekends.
If the complaint involves serious neglect or abuse, contact the Ombudsman Program, local law enforcement, and the California Attorney General’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse at 1-800-722-0432 or http://ag.ca.gov/bmfea/ or mail to BMFEA, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.